Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is back in the headlines, but this time it has nothing to do with his on-field ability.
Rumors are circulating that there is an incriminating video showing Bryant doing something “Ray Rice-style.”
According to Terez Owens, a sports rumor blog, allegedly there’s video surveillance footage of Bryant punching a woman at a Dallas-area Wal-Mart.
But a new wrinkle came about Thursday regarding an alleged July 2011 incident in a Wal-Mart parking lot involving Bryant’s girlfriend. You can read about it below.
In a cryptic Tweet on Wednesday which has since been removed, Bryant wrote: “I need to get me a real raw uncut tv show or something … I can’t continue to get betrayed like this.”
Bryant tweeted another unspecific message on February 20:
Here’s what we know about the situation so far:
1. No Video of Bryant Has Surfaced
Right now, no video of Bryant has surfaced. But multiple media outlets have confirmed the circulating rumors that one is out there, including Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Schefter appeared on the Carmen and Jurko show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago this week and said he has heard about the video and he knows what’s on it, but he hasn’t seen it. Click the above link and go to the 47 minute mark.
Schefter said he has been working on the story since September.
In an interview with 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys’ flagship station, Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk.com said:
I don’t know if there’s any video that exists. I’m just saying there is some chatter out there.
According to Terez Owens, the tape is expected to be released shortly, though that has not been confirmed.
Another unsubstantiated rumor is that screenshots of the footage have been sent to various media outlets.
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones denied knowledge of a video in an exclusive with FOX Sports Southwest.
2. The Rumored Tape Shows Bryant Allegedly Doing Something Similar to What Ray Rice Did
If rumors are true, the tape shows Bryant involved in an act of violence, much like Ray Rice’s video that was made public last year.
Rice was caught on video punching and knocking out his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer (now Rice, since she has since married Ray), in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.
Rice was then shown dragging the unconscious Janay from the elevator.
Per Terez Owens, a person who has seen the Bryant video claims “it’s five times worse than the Ray Rice video.”
Rice was suspended by the NFL and cut by the Baltimore Ravens. But in December, Rice was reinstated and is free to sign with any team, though he remains unsigned.
3. Police Investigated a 2011 Incident Involving Bryant & His Girlfriend, But no Arrests Were Made
According to a police report from July 11, 2011, police questioned Bryant about an incident in a Wal-Mart parking lot in which a woman was allegedly dragged out of a car by a man.
The woman was identified as Ilyne Nash, Bryant’s girlfriend and mother of two of his children, in the report.
According to the police report, officers determined no crime was committed after interviewing several witnesses and no arrests were made.
Also, there is no mention of a video in the police report.
See the entire police report here.
4. Contract Talks Between Bryant & the Cowboys Have Stalled
There is speculation that contract talks between Bryant and the Cowboys have stalled because of the video rumors.
Team owner Jerry Jones said off-the-field issues aren’t the reason for the contract situation:
Right now, as to our basic approach to all of the contracts that we’re considering negotiating, off-the-field issues are not a consideration in any situation with any player.
Jones also told the team’s website Bryant had changed agents, and they “haven’t had timely or ‘substitive’ negotiations.”
Bryant is set to become a free agent.
5. Bryant Has Been a Lightning Rod for Controversy
Bryant is no stranger to having his name in the headlines for something other than football.
DeSoto, Texas, police had been called to Bryant’s house at least six times, though there has never been an arrest.
Once police had to remove a sleeping baby from a locked car. Another time, police were called because of a robbery at the house.
Bryant didn’t have the best reputation coming out of Oklahoma State. And his rough upbringing has been well-documented. Ex-scout Bryan Broaddus told 105.3 The Fan then:
The worst I had ever seen of a background is the kid Dez Bryant.